In comparison to library contexts, user perspective and user studies have received noticeably little practical attention in archives and in the context of management of archival materials and archival information. I am addressing some of theissues of communication and user participation in archival contexts in an article published yesterday in Archival Science.
I am discussing two action research projects-based digital archives are discussed. The insights gained during the research and development work are used to formulate a new approach to a participatory archive. In spite of the historical nature of the archives discussed, the suggested ways of interacting with an archive are not specific to historical records. The fundamental characteristics of the proposed approach are decentralised curation, radical user orientation, and contextualisation of both records and the entire archival process.
The entire article can be found at http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10502-008-9071-0